Sheffield MP tells of 'very difficult' miscarriage during pandemic

Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, said she was forced to tell her partner that she had lost their baby in a hospital car park due to coronavirus restrictions.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 2:04 pm
Sheffield MP, Olivia Blake.

Calling for the Government to “do more” to ensure that no woman has to go through a similar experience, Ms Blake added that “no one should have to hear news on their own”.

Ms Blake told MPs her story for the first time during the emotional Westminster Hall debate, saying she had been prompted to do so after hearing other MPs’ “brave” contributions.

“As we know, as many as one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage and there are 14 stillbirths happening every day,” she said.

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“I first raised the issues of maternity services back in June because I heard from my constituents concerns about these issues.

“Little did I know that I would be experiencing a miscarriage in August and having to go through some of the issues that my constituents had raised with me – going to A&E, my partner having to wait in the car park, getting confused and muddled about my dates, being unable to have a hug, someone to hold my hand or support to hear the news that I was having a miscarriage.

An emotional Ms Blake added: “It was a very difficult, difficult situation and one that I want no one else to have to go through. No one should have to hear news on their own.”

After a brief pause to wipe her tears and collect herself, Ms Blake continued: “Receiving bad news on your own is not only incredibly traumatic and challenging, but then having to go and repeat that news to your partner in a car park is another level of difficult.

“At a point when you are struggling to process the information being given to you, it is impossible to take in everything that has been raised with you or answer any of your partners’ questions when you get into the car.”

She added: “Whilst I welcome the Government’s change in advice and guidance on allowing partners to scans and appointments, it is currently not enough to improve access.

“I urge the minister to do more and not assume that the job is done on this.”